Sonia Sotomayor was born in The Bronx, NY to a nurse and a tool worker of Puerto Rican descent. Sonia Sotomayor was confirmed to be the first Latina Supreme Court justice in U.S. history after being elected in 2009 by President Barack Obama.
After graduating high school, Sotomayor attended Ivy League school, Princeton University. In which, she became involved in Puerto Rican groups on campus like Accion Puertorriqueña and the Third World Center. She graduated Princeton in 1976 and was awarded the Pyne Prize, which is given to the undergraduates with the highest academic achievement. The same year she attended Yale Law School, later received her J.D. in 1979 and passed the bar in 1980. She began working in Manhattan as a trial lawyer where she prosecuted robbery, murder, child pornography, assault, and police brutality cases.
Sotomayor became partner at the commercial litigation firm Pavia & Harcourt where she climbed the ladder. Whilst, serving on the board of the Puerto Rican Legal Defense and Education Fund, the New York City Campaign Finance Board and the State of New York Mortgage Agency. She caught the attention of Senators Ted Kennedy and Daniel Patrick Moynihan. In 1992, President George H.W. Bush nominated her for U.S. District Court judge. She was the youngest judge in the court. In 1997, she was nominated by President Bill Clinton for the U.S. Second Circuit Court of Appeals. About 10 years later, she becomes Supreme Court Justice after being nominated by President Barack Obama.
After Becoming Supreme Court Justice
On June 25, 2015 Sotomayor was one of the six justices who upheld the 2010 Affordable Care Act, a.k.a Obamacare, in King v. Burwell. On June 26, she was also part of the 5-4 majority ruling in Obergefell v. Hodges that made same sex marriage legal in all 50 states!!!!
The following year in June, Sotomayor wrote a scathing dissent for Utah v. Edward Joseph Strieff Jr. A case that was about civil liberties and preventing unlawful search and seizures. She mentioned the white officer who shot and killed Michael Brown, an unarmed Black teenager in Missouri, when she wrote, “By legitimizing the conduct that produces this double consciousness, this case tells everyone, white and Black, guilty and innocent, that an officer can verify your legal status at any time. It says that your body is subject to invasion while courts excuse the violation of your rights. It implies that you are not a citizen of a democracy but the subject of a carceral state, just waiting to be cataloged.” She also mentioned that it would affect minorities and low-income individuals disproportionately.
Why I Decided to Write About Sotomayor
I was in 4th grade when Sonia Sotomayor was elected Supreme Court justice and although I didn’t know much about politics, since I was only nine years old, I knew it was a big deal when she became a justice. As a Latina myself, I am very proud of Sotomayor for working so hard to become such a powerful part of the government. We are represented and that is something very important. As I was reading up on her for this article, discovering that she was part of the majority vote for same sex marriage makes me very happy because that will go down as one of the biggest historic decisions. Same sex marriage is something that I felt strongly about and it was something very important for some of my loved ones.
In memory and honor of Ruth Bader Ginsburg.
Information was gathered from https://www.biography.com/law-figure/sonia-sotomayor